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Traveling for business isn't always easy. Disturbed sleep schedules, packing and unpacking and unexpected delays can derail your routine and be stressful.
Keeping a positive attitude is the first step to a smooth travel experience. Polite requests and happy demeanors give travelers a better chance at getting upgrades, itinerary changes and great service.
Kindness isn't the only way to minimize inconveniences while traveling. Here are a few practical ways to make traveling for business easier:
Travel is stressful when you’re worried about lost luggage or being held up at baggage claim. Bring only a carry-on, check in for your flight online and go directly to security at the airport. If you don’t check baggage, you won't have to wait for it when you arrive.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Check out Seatguru.com to view your airplane’s seating plan in advance, including information about legroom seats and power ports. Find out where galleys, lavatories and exit rows are, and request a seat that makes working or relaxing easier for you.
Instead of calling around to restaurants once at your destination, make reservations at OpenTable.com, of which 20,000 restaurants worldwide are members.
Bring a GPS with pre-loaded maps of your destination to make driving your rental car in a new place easier.
Join a Rewards Program and Stick With It
If the airline, rental-car company or hotel staff notices you are a frequent customer, they are more likely to go out of their way to assist you.
Members of rewards and loyalty programs often obtain early boarding on flights, priority on hotel rooms, first-class upgrades and all-around better treatment.
Some rental-car companies deliver rental cars to rewards program members personally, while less frequent customers must trek to the company’s facility to claim their car.
People get much better service when they dress well and appear more affluent. Wearing an outfit that doubles as presentation attire while traveling is also smart -- in case your baggage is lost or you are late, at least you're not stuck in jeans for a big meeting.
Keep a Bag Packed
Save time packing by keeping a carry-on suitcase packed with the essentials you need. Instead of a bulky laptop computer, take along a thinner version or a tablet. Swap hardcovers with eBooks. If you must bring a coat or bulky shoes, wear them on the plane to avoid taking up space in your bag.
Store Customer-Service Numbers Stored in Your Phone
Keeping customer-service numbers handy offers fast access to the right people in case a flight is cancelled or you need to change a reservation, rather than waiting in line once you’re there.
Credit: Travel Channel